Category Archives: Photography

Day 247 – it’ll be worth waiting for

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Day 247 – Nov 20th

A quiet and uneventful Monday, just the way I like it.

It feels very much like things are on pause for me at the moment, while I wait for the opportunity to collect the new motorbike, a Suzuki GSX650F. The punchy 650cc engine is a huge step up from the 125cc bike I have been used to, and it is going to be very interesting while I adjust to a fairly different way of riding. Having that much power between your legs is quite a daunting thought, and I am going to have to take things very easy until I get used to it.

With regards to my daily photo, the sunset now being around the time I am leaving work means that there aren’t many chances for outdoor photos, and so I decided to grab a quick bath time shot tonight as Chloe is such a different character in the bath compared to the last time I took a bath pic of her!

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Day 244 – You know whats going to happen, but you still have to try

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Day 244 – Nov 17th

Friday night, where I love to get the girls into bed so that me and the wife can sit down and relax together with a drink and a film. Traditionally the wife doesn’t do so well for staying awake in front of a film, we kind of expect her to nod off at some point, but every now and again we find something that really grips her, and she will still be focused all the way through to the end credits… not this time! Yet again, even though we’d picked a film we both liked which this evening happened to be Dallas Buyers Club, I don’t even think she made the half way point.

Usually it is left to me to make the choice as to what film we watch, sometimes its a hit, and sometimes its a miss. Its hard to predict what someone is going to like, no matter how much you think you know them. Apparently even when a film is a hit, its no guarantee that the wife will stay awake.

Oh well, lets try again next week!

Day 243 – I just wish I could do more

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Day 243 – Nov 15th

The last few nights I have been making more of an effort to get to bed at a sensible time, only for any success I have been having to be pretty much wiped out by one little lady who hasn’t been very well, and another not so little one who, instead of sleeping through the night like she normally does, decided that for some reason she absolutely must get out of bed in the middle of the night for a hug!!

Olivia usually sleeps well and doesn’t wake until the sun comes up in the morning, so we’re a bit confused as to what is waking her. I just wish she’d stay in bed and not feel that she has to come in to wake us too!

Chloe, on the other hand, has been genuinely not well. She’s had an on/off temperature for a couple of days, and has been off her food, and not drinking as much as we’d like her to. Today has been a better day, although its still a series of highs and lows. One minute she’s all cuddles and looking very sorry for herself, and yet just a few minutes later and she’s running around the living room like she’s never had a thing wrong with her.

It looks like she is starting to get a little better, very slowly, although it doesn’t help when she won’t let us give her any medicine, so we’re having to sneak it into drinks and yoghurts where we can. The most important things are drinks and sleep though, both of those in enough quantities will speed the recovery along as nicely.

Day 241 – you might not succeed, but you have to keep trying

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Day 241 – Nov 14th

It’s that time of year, germs are everywhere. People are closing their windows because it’s cold outside and cranking up the heating… and the germs are loving it. Working in a school means that around the October – November time when the temperature drops, you are suddenly exposed to all those snotty, coughing, sneezing kids. It doesn’t help that when I finally get home to escape it all everyone has a cold too.

It’s the sort of time you really need to be keeping your energy up by getting plenty of sleep each night. I knew I had to make an extra effort to get to bed early tonight.

The day started with me not feeling great as soon as I got up, so I decided to abandon the cycle in and took the motorbike instead. There is no point pushing myself physically on a demanding cycle ride into work and making myself feel even more run down, then inevitably becoming even more vulnerable to the germs I’ll almost certainly be exposed to.

Having taken the motorbike in to work meant that, on a whim I could go and visit a bike shop after work to check out a bike I’d had my eye on. On paper this bike looked good, but I was glad I had taken a closer inspection as I spotted something I didn’t like. I gave up on this one, and now had a better idea of what I was looking for, narrowing down my search slightly. It really isn’t as simple as looking for a car!

That evening I actually got to bed earlier, and after a little reading we realised that Chloe was awake in bed, I went to check her out and realised she was red hot and had a temperature. Any chance of getting to sleep was quickly abandoned as we took her downstairs in an attempt to cool her down and get some medicine inside her… easier said than done. You’d think we were trying to put liquidised cat food into her mouth or something. I’ve never seen a child refuse medicine with such an energetic protest!

Midnight came and went, and thankfully our little lady was cooling down and looking like she was in the mood to play again, a sign that she was feeling better. Thankfully when she went down this time, she stayed asleep.

I probably won’t be cycling again in the morning either!

Day 239 – Try to keep yourself distracted

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Day 239 – Nov 12th

Sunday morning was no lie in, we had arranged to meet some friends to take the kids swimming. The local pool had thankfully changed their opening times, making it easier to park and get in to the small pool early which worked really well for us. We were changed and in the water by 9am and out again by 10am with the whole of Sunday ahead of us. I managed to take both of the girls by myself as I am keen to get Chloe in the water more, and Olivia really takes no looking after.

After a spot of lunch we were off out to the park to meet some of our antenatal friends, Olivia loves playing with their daughter, and the two girls could go and ride their bikes and run about. I felt a bit guilty about it, but I was starting to clock watch towards the end as the penultimate Formula 1 race of the season was on at 4pm and I was keen to see not only the start, but some of the build up commentary to the grand prix. Our friends know I am a huge F1 fan and so is the husband, so he agreed to come back to our house and watch the race live, rather than having to wait to see the highlights later that night. It was nice to have a bit of company to watch the race with for a change. After the race, he was picked up by his wife, it would have been a nice quiet evening for the two of us, but Clare had to go out and babysit our nephew and niece.

It meant that with the girls in bed, it was just me entertaining myself for the evening, and trying hard to distract myself as I was trying to take my mind off the fact that I had my motorbike test in the morning and I was starting to get a little nervous… the worst thing I could do. I know I can do everything that is required on the test, and I know I can do it well, but under test conditions I begin to panic and it all starts to go wrong, I forget things and make stupid mistakes.

It wasn’t helping that I kept checking the weather, as it was getting colder and colder, with the temperature set to drop to -1ºc meaning that if there was ice about then the test could be cancelled.

I figured a few drinks before bed would help me relax and get to sleep a little better, although that unfortunately meant a later night than I had intended. D’oh!

Day 233 – Less excuses, more exercising

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Day 233 – Nov 6th

We’re a week into November, Winter is knocking on the door, and this morning we get a reminder of that as the mercury has only crept up to 1ºC as I climb onto my motorbike and head off to work, a little nervous that the last time I went out with frost on the road I wasn’t able to keep the bike upright as I pulled out of a junction. I was still quite new to riding and a fairly lively wobble and the bike went down. Thankfully that wasn’t the case today, and I made it to work in one piece.

The next three days I’d be cycling to work, a much more preferable option when its frosty out, firstly its easy to keep warm when you have to peddle uphill, and secondly the bike is easier to keep upright than a heavy motorbike.

Tonight I had committed myself to hitting the gym again after work, as I hadn’t been for a few weeks. I seem to have found plenty of excuses to not go, but really needed to just get off my lazy ass and do it! Usually I head straight for the cardio equipment when I am at the gym, but with a niggling foot injury giving me some bother I decided to do something different and get on the weight machines instead. It was nice to do something different, even though I was aware I had to cycle in the morning and could easily wake up in the morning with stiff legs. In the long run, if I use the weights regularly it will make the cycling easier.

One thing I that would really benefit me is some kind of training plan, but where do you begin with something like that without throwing money at a personal trainer??

Day 232 – Autumn gives the summer a beautiful send-off

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Day 232 – Nov 5th

Its actual bonfire night in the UK, but seeing as it is Sunday most of the fireworks will hopefully have gone off on Friday and Saturday night, although there will always be those that are determined to wait until the actual date to set some off, and the few weird ones who seem to hang on until Monday or Tuesday… what is THAT all about??

We’d already had fireworks on Friday, and a bonfire at home with sparklers on Saturday, so we were done for this year.

I had to pop out at lunchtime to meet with a couple, they are getting married next year and were visiting their venue and had asked if I could join them to take a look over the place. I’d seen a photo of it, and it looked nice enough, so I really wasn’t expecting to be quite as impressed by it as I was once I’d seen it in person. It was a beautiful venue, and the attention to detail was very impressive. With the passion of the people running the place it sounds like the day will run very smoothly indeed, and I am very much looking forward to their wedding day there, I have no doubt it will be an amazing day.

I did grab a shot of the place before I left, but came home to find these three leaves at the bottom of the driveway, just crying out to be photographed. Here is Autumn at its finest, well done mother nature!

Day 227 – Prepare for disappointment

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Day 227 – Oct 31st

Halloween is here and I have decided to leave the wife to face the Trick or Treaters, as I have to go out, although the reality is that most of them will have been and gone and will probably be in bed before I head out. I have decided that it is time to upgrade my phone.

I am an Apple fan, and have been an avid iPhone user for many years now, starting with the 3G, moving up to the 4S, then onto the 5, before settling on the best phone I ever owned, the 6 Plus. Even though I could have upgraded my phone back in February (I am normally on it the very day I am allowed to upgrade) I had been holding out for the 2017 product announcements, as I knew it was the tenth anniversary of the iPhone and I was sure something big would be coming… and I wasn’t disappointed! The iPhone X is a beauty, and it is set to be one of the most popular handsets the company has ever made. The only downside is the massive cost, it is by far the most expensive handset Apple have produced. While this won’t stop the die hard fans, I knew that for me buying it would firstly annoy the wife, and secondly I didn’t have the cash for it.

Yet I was two and a half years into my iPhone, and I was keen to play with something new, so I opted for the somewhat overshadowed iPhone 8 plus. Still an expensive model, but a worthy upgrade from the phone I was using.

Sure I could order on the phone, but I wanted my new phone NOW! So I took off to the phone shop with the intention of coming home with my new phone, only to be presented with the dilemma of losing the discount I was used to, and them not having the larger storage version that I wanted.

I reluctantly had to walk away without my new phone and ended up calling the customer service number anyway. My new phone was going to be delivered the very next day, and as I had taken the car to work I knew the wife would be at home to sign for it!

Day 225 – What shall we do today?

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Day 225 – Oct 29th

Sunday was the final day of a week off before I had to go back to work, and the one day we had made absolutely zero plans for. The weather was looking good outside and once we were up and breakfast was done, we spent a little while pondering over what to with ourselves.

I was a little bored with the prospect of going to the park again, but after going through the shower and getting dressed, Clare came up with the fantastic idea of heading out to a farm to go pumpkin picking!

She soon found Essington Farm which wasn’t too far away and so after packing a small lunch for the girls, we headed out and jumped on the motorway. After locating the farm and taking a walk it wasn’t long before before we found some suitable pumpkins, dumped them in the car and decided to take advantage of their fantastic farm shop, which was packed with all sorts of goodies, and we could have easily spent a small fortune in there!

With only two days left until Halloween it was straight onto the task of scooping out and carving the two that we brought home, although there was no convincing Olivia to have anything scary on hers, nope, we had to do a cat… and not even a scary witches cat either! Pfftt! Kids!

Day 221 – Make any excuse, just go outside

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Day 221 – Oct 25th

Oh what to do to entertain the kids during half term? Well, they already get plenty of time in front of the tv, and we’ve been to the park… my one passion is to get the girls out of the house where we can and going for a walk, exploring nature and just enjoying being outside. 

A bit of fresh air and a good walk is guaranteed to wear the girls out, and hopefully they’ll get a really good nights sleep from it, although to be fair we did get really lucky with two girls who already sleep well anyway. 

A short drive away from where we live are the Clent Hills, a National Trust location that attracts a lot of walkers and families from all over the surrounding areas. It’s a place I have been going to for over 20 years and have probably only ever explored 15-20% of it. We did start to explore a little bit further when Olivia was walking a lot and Chloe was in a baby carrier,  it but now Chloe is also walking we’ve had to reign in the length of our walks a bit as Chloe’s little legs just can’t walk that far, and she loves to join in with the walking instead of being carried all the time. The distance we cover is significantly less, and it is more about just exploring nature and getting outdoors than how far we get.

We’d left our walk a little late in the day, as trying to work around Chloe’s nap time can be tricky, but these last couple of weeks we seem to have had teething rear its ugly head with an absolute vengeance, and we are seeing many of the evident signs, besides the appearance of teeth. One of which is the clear need for her to get a good 2-3 hour nap during the day. Some days we can push it and get away with less, but it catches up with her. We made it out today with just enough time before the sun went down, and it was nice to see the girls enjoying the outdoors, although putting wellies on was definitely a good idea as Olivia was straight into the muddy puddles and soon soaked from the waist down! Peppa pig has a lot to bloody answer for!!

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